When Sienna Miller broke up with Jude Law after his highly publicized fling with the nanny, moms around the world took note. The outrageous actions of this dashing British bachelor raise a question that's long been stewing in the minds of many mothers: "How cute is too cute?" At what point should you start to worry that your babysitter's attractive appearance '- and perky pre-baby body '- might affect your marriage?
A recent poll of Sittercity.com moms showed that 52 percent were worried about hiring an attractive babysitter. While it's natural to be nervous about a young, pretty thing spending lots of quality time around the house, the key to hiring one is to really trust her. After all, who's to say that an especially conniving plain Jane couldn't be as much of a home wrecker? Properly screening a babysitter ensures your relationship with her '- and hers with your family '- is healthy for everyone involved.
Use the interview
We often conduct interviews informally in kitchens or playrooms or even over the phone, but this is a bad idea. Babysitting has become a legitimate child care field, and interview protocol is changing. Hold your interview in person in a home office or living room, treating it as you would a corporate job interview. Inform babysitters that they should wear business casual attire and bring a resume and references. (For younger sitters, explain that they should dress as they would for a family get-together.) Only ask them to wear informal clothing if you want to supervise their playing with your kids.
Such an atmosphere allows you to evaluate how professionally the babysitter carries herself. If she's wearing inappropriate clothing or anything too tight or low-cut, she's probably not right. Watch how the babysitter approaches your questions. If she answers too quickly or cuts you off, she might not take the time to carefully listen to your concerns during the job. Did she arrive on time? Did she bring all of her materials in a presentable format? The more responsible a babysitter is during the interview, the more likely it is she'll fit into your household without problems.